The MR340 race was moved due to flooding several times this year. Ultimately, it was decided that only 3 boats would start due to the extreme cold. I love this community of paddlers. The finish was going to be this night and only 1 boat was left in the race. I thought I could get there early and get a nice unicycle ride in before waiting for the last and only boat to come across the finish line.
The ride started at the St. Charles boat house. From there, I rode the Katy trail out west. I stopped at Blanchette landing to get some photos of the river.
It was fall, so I had lots of leaves to deal with during the ride.
I heard there was lots of mud due to the flooding, but I didn’t get it till I saw how much mud was scraped to the side of the trail!
Eventually, I caught a road between farm fields. It was large gravel. I was able to ride about 90% of it.
Eventually, I ended up on Route 94 and rode that back most of the way to the boat house. Its not somewhere I would be excited to ride again. A small shoulder and not very flat. It didn’t help that I was quickly getting tired and should have stopped riding about an hour before I did.
Once I got back, I still had to wait about 3 hours for the boat to finish the race, but I considered it a fantastic day and got to hang out with many friends!
Its a really quaint town off I-90 in a mountain valley that just begs you to spend time walking the streets. I wish we had more time to hang out and explore every street. The town has several staircases to get from one street to another as there isn’t much flat ground. The views are worth it!
I guess it snows a bit here and they really want to be able to get around!
Our time in town was at an end as we had places to be. Specifically, the Hiawatha Trail.This is a privately maintained rails to trail path high up in the mountains. I made reservations for us before coming out to ensure we had tickets. The plan was to meet at the beginning higher up in the mountains and pick up our pass. Then we would drive around the 1.6 mile (unlit) tunnel where we would start our unicycle trip.
This is the tent at the East Portal where we picked up or tickets for the ride.
The start of the 1.6 mile tunnel that we drove around. Its hard to explain how 40 degree air blowing from the tunnel was early in the morning! We were second guessing if we would be warm enough for the ride.
We drove (a few miles) around to the West Portal on the downhill side of the 1.6 mile Taft tunnel. This is where the shuttle drops you off after riding downhill. You then have to ride back through the tunnel uphill to get back to your car. This is why we opted to drive around it to save the extra riding.
Starting from the West Portal, we rode 14 mostly downhill miles to the finish. Here are some photos of the journey along the way. This ride included multiple tunnels and trestles (bridges in train speak).
Every mile of the 14 mile trip had views that were this good!
Since the ride was going to be a long one, we made several stops, making sure to get our silly faces in them!
Corvin spent at least 15 minutes working his way through the woods to get to the top of this tunnel for some video. As a dad, I was a bit worried for his safety, but it all worked out!
There were multiple trestles that had amazing views and large drop-offs! On one of the larger ones, we met a couple and talked the gentleman into trying a unicycle. We love sharing our rides with others. He didn’t have much success,but we all laughed and enjoyed the experience.
Its hard not to stop every time and capture the views that were available!
We’ll ride across this one later.
Taking in the view with both unicycles!
Taking in the view with both unicycles!
Earlier, when we picked up our tickets for the ride, we mentioned uni-cycling to the ticket guy and he just played the whole thing off like we were just kidding him. Later we would see him on the trail and he was extremely shocked to see that we were both on unicycles. He said that we were the first unicycles they had seen in the 21 years they had been in business 🙂
Uni-cycling is hard work, and I’m happy that I get to do this with Corvin!
Corvin’s Journal Entry
Our Strava entry.
Our map of completed states.
Stats: Total Trip Miles: 88.2 Total Moving Time: 17h 18m Total Elevation Gained: 2172 feet Total Hogan UPD: 10 Total Corvin UPD: 6
Its getting cold, that means more time spent inside. We got the Christmas Tree up, then Corvin decided to decorate himself.
Then the fun began…
Corvin and I got in a few unicycle rides this month.
And also of interest, there was a surprise meeting series called the “Blueprint Series” started at work. They put signs up around office to announce it but would not tell us what it was. So I took a photo of one of the signs and started making my own rival signs, placing them up in the office. A few co-workers got in on it with me and we made our own fake posters…